At our sold-out Teach-In gathering last month in Boston, we asked participants to pair up and share with each other a piece of wisdom about doing new things in established companies. The catch: it had to be succinct enough to fit onto a Post-It.
Here are a few of our favorite Post-Its from what turned into an amazing “wall of advice.”
• Make innovation part of the company’s DNA: leadership support, empowerment, celebrate results.
• Get diversity of talent on your innovation team.
• Find passionate, poly-skilled people.
• Real-world pilots require a test environment.
• Get out — use external spaces for events, and engage with customers face-to-face.
• Have three key metrics you can explain in an elevator or in a few minutes to communicate impact.
• Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.
• Innovation isn’t only about the product.
• Educate executives upfront on what innovation is, why it’s of value, and how they’ll benefit from dedicating their resources to it.
• Start small. Think big! Don’t scale too soon.
• Innovate by visioning. What would it feel like walking a new employee around the company in five years?
• Beware of financial metrics too soon.
• Bring the business units that will benefit along in the innovation journey.
• Innovation can be viewed as a tumor or a fetus: How will your corporation treat it?
• Start small and collect small, impactful wins.
• Treat [your project] like an early-stage, cashless startup.
• Monetize innovation by building it into [executives’ and employees’] bonus.
• Don’t stop at ideation. Have a plan to scale and grow.
• Get buy-in from the top as well as the bottom.
• Separate research from development.
• Don’t be afraid of “the complainers.”
• Embrace the feedback. Don’t take it personally.
• Don’t underestimate passion.
• Collect and leverage project information to better guide future projects and decisions.
• Use clients/customers to push your innovation agenda.
• Be persistent.
• Make friends everywhere; networking internally and externally is an imperative.
Do you have a Post-It length piece of advice to share? Post a comment below, and we hope to see you at a future Innovation Leader gathering! Next up is San Francisco in February 2017.